Trump persuades Saudi king to raise oil output

WASHINGTON • US President Donald Trump said in a tweet yesterday that Saudi Arabia's King Salman had agreed to his request to increase oil production "maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels" to offset production from Iran and Venezuela.

The Saudi authorities had no immediate comment.

The world's top oil exporter plans to pump as much as 11 million barrels per day (bpd) in July, an oil industry source has told Reuters, after the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) agreed with Russia and other oil producers to raise output by about one million bpd.

Mr Trump tweeted: "Just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and explained to him that, because of the turmoil & disfunction in Iran and Venezuela, I am asking that Saudi Arabia increase oil production, maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels, to make up the difference ... Prices to high! He has agreed!"

The Trump administration is pushing countries to cut all imports of Iranian oil from November when the United States re-imposes sanctions against Teheran, after Mr Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal agreed between Iran and six major powers, calling it a "defective" agreement.

That agreement sought to curb Teheran's nuclear capabilities in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions. Mr Trump ordered the re-imposition of US sanctions against Iran that were suspended under the accord.

US officials are pressing allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East to adhere to the sanctions. State Department officials said the US is prepared to work with countries on a case-by-case basis to help them reduce imports of Iranian oil.

China, the world's top crude oil buyer, imported around 655,000 bpd on average from Iran in the first quarter of this year, according to official Chinese Customs data, equivalent to more than a quarter of Iran's total exports.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 01, 2018, with the headline 'Trump persuades Saudi king to raise oil output'. Print Edition | Subscribe